Let's Go – It's Vacation Time!

It's time once again for that great escape we call vacation. For some of us this means heading off for a fun filled week or two with lots of activities and new places to explore; for others it is a time to rest and reconnect with the family. It's about spending quality time together; time away without having to keep up the frantic pace of work, school, piano lessons, baseball practice, and all of the running around that makes our lives so crazy, and us so cranky! Unfortunately, in order to do this we have to get ready.

I know in my home, getting ready is a major event! We are working right up to the day we leave and our regular schedule of activities does not stop just because we are trying to get ready to go on vacation. I have every intention of being prepared, but still it looks I am scrambling around at the last minute. Why did not I take an extra day off work to get ready? I NEED a trip organizer, someone to come in and just take care of it all. Of course in reality, I know that I am the trip organizer and more; I'm THE MOM!

If you are feeling overwhelmed with preparing for your vacation, do not worry help is at hand. First grab a cup of coffee, a diet coke, or a glass of wine, a note book and a pen; then sit down for a minute and just relax. Lock yourself away where you will not be disturbed. Now you are ready to begin making your list which will look something like this:

TO DO – HOME:

1. Stop mail – you can do this on-line, go to usps.com

2. Stop newspaper delivery – also can be done on-line.

3. Do you have any other home services you need to put on hold while you are gone? If so, add it to the list.

4. Have house key made for a family member or friend. If they are taking care of your plants, pool, pets, or whatever, make sure you write up specific instructions of what you need to have done while you are away.

5. Prepare emergency information and give to family and friends. List phone numbers of where you can be reached while you are gone in case of an emergency; if you are flying include your itinerary information.

TO DO – PETS:

1. Arrange for your pets to be cared for while you are gone. Call the kennel ahead of time to make reservations.

2. If you are having someone come to your house to take care of pets, make sure you leave enough food and any other items they might need while you are gone.

3. Leave the telephone number of your vet, just in case you can not be reached in an emergency.

TO DO – PACK:

1. Make a list of the things you need to take with you. Or better yet, a friend of mine gave me a really helpful check list called "let's go" by Snookus that listed everything you might need to pack on it. It was great, I handed one to my kids and I kept one; we were able to just mark off the list as we went along.

2. Make sure you have any prescriptions that you need filled before you leave.

3. Make sure you have chargers for your cell phones, Game Boys, and any other electronic devices you are taking with you.

4. If you are flying, check out the Federal Aviation Administration requirements: the number of carry on items you can take, liquid restrictions, weight and size limits on checked baggage (the over limit charges are staggering!). Go on line to http://www.faa.gov and look under "Travelers" and click on "Preparing to Fly"; this will provide you with all the information you need to make sure you are in compliance and avoid delays and additional costs at the airport.

Keep in mind that, unless you are going camping in the wilderness, you can pick up most anything at a store wherever you are going. So try not to over pack.

Now that you have your list completed, delegate; do not try to do it all by yourself. Your family is most likely happy to help they just need direction from you. In no time you will be ready to hit the road. Let the fun begin!

Happy Traveling!